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Well, I lost my list of planned February posts, so I'm a little behind and frustrated. Believe it or not, a little effort goes into lining up the names I post, as I want each pair to fit well together. In my opinion, anyway. But, until I've covered each month's birth stone, you can at least expect me to have a post on a birth stone every month until August, since the first one I covered was this past September, sapphire.

Amethyst is February's birth stone, a beautiful purple gem, as you can see. I have long loved Amethyst as a baby name since, although it is a little quirky, it offers options for those of us who love names like Amber, Angelina, Amy, Violet, or any other names we are drawn to but would not use.

Like Violet, which is ever popular, Amethyst immediately conjures up the image of a distinct purple color, and like Ruby, also ever popular, it gives us thoughts of pretty gemstones. However, Amethyst has never graced the top 1000. In 2010 there were only 62 baby girls born named Amethyst.

Amethyst, a semi-precious form of quartz, is Greek, meaning "not intoxicated." The Greeks took this literally and wore amethyst as a form of protection against the effects of wine, sometimes even placing the amethyst in the wine itself. Tibetan Buddhists believe the stone is sacred to Buddha. Today people still believe in amethyst's calming properties, its ability to promote serenity, provide peace, and help with addictions.

With amethyst being such a common jewelry store find, and with accessable nicknames like Amy or Ama, it certainly won't be your fault if people have difficulty with this name. It should be just as easy for people to understand and pronounce as Amber, yet your child will probably never meet another in her lifetime.


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Witchy Baby Girl Names!

Circe Invidiosa by John William Waterhouse
Have a little girl due in October? Looking to name a character? Here's my [seemingly endless] list of witchy-sounding baby names. Most of them also fit in the "clunky but cool" category, or "vintage." Most plants, trees, herbs, spices, flowers, gems, space and nature names fit the bill, because in stories and current practice these things are useful to witches. I've put any actual witch names from legend, myth, literature, movies, etc in bold and up front. I have not considered the names of actual, living people or their Pagan names, and I've left out any characters that only have a surname, or truly ridiculous given names. In the second half you'll see a list of names that, to my knowledge, have not been used for witch characters. Please know that this is not a complete list. Wikipedia has an almost complete list you can view here.
Tabitha, Samantha, Endora, Clara, Serena (Bewitched)
Katrina(Katrina Crane, …

Norway's Top 10 Baby Names

Taken from Statistics Norway. I have no clue how/why there are multiple spellings, but I'm assuming they group spellings for each name and then rank them, unlike the U.S. that goes by individual spelling.

2015 Stats
1. Emma
2. Nora/Norah
3. Sara/Sahra/Sarah
4. Sophie/Sofie
5. Olivia
6. Sophia/Sofia
7. Emilie
8. Ella
9. Lea/Leah
10. Maja/Maia/Maya

1. William
2. Mathias/Matias
3. Oliver
4. Jakob/Jacob
5. Lukas/Lucas
6. Filip/Fillip, Philip/Phillip
7. Liam
8. Axel/Aksel
9. Emil
10. Oskar/Oscar


1. Emma
2. Nora/Norah
3. Sara/Sarah/Sahra
4. Sofie/Sophie
5. Linnea/Linea
6. Thea/Tea
7. Maya/Maia/Maja
8. Emilie
9. Ingrid/Ingri
10. Julie

1. Emil
2. Lucas/Lukas
3. Mathias/Matias
4. William
5. Magnus
6. Filip/Fillip/Philip/Phillip
7. Oliver
8. Markus/Marcus
9. Noa/Noah
10. Tobias


Here's one of my personal favorites, although I'm surprised I still like it after seeing Forrest Gump so often (thanks, Dad). In fact, the name peaked in popularity for the second time the year the movie was released, jumping to number #217 in 1994. Now he's on the move yet again, rising to 132 boys given the name in 2015 from a low dip to 47 in 2006. To be clear, Forest is the word spelling and Forrest the name spelling, and Forrest remains a much more popular choice with 387 boys given the name in 2015, ranking at #659. Forrest also had a dip in 2006 with only 147 births, disappearing from the charts between 2003 and 2013, and it also peaked in 1994 with 1,343 boys born, rising to #217. Historically both spelling options have been very popular.

Forest doesn't have an obvious nickname, but it's one of those names you enjoy saying without having to shorten it. Forest is Old French, meaning "woods." A famous namesake is St. John Forest of the 16th century…